Karen completes her look at the factions of STARDOM
In the last two years, there has been an influx of talent in STARDOM. With the arrival of Giulia, winds of change swept through STARDOM as The Women of the World, Donna del Mondo set the company on fire. DDM rapidly grew in success, popularity and numbers, but the rapid growth led to unexpected departures, when Syuri would strike on her own to form God’s Eye. Wrapping up our primer of the STARDOM factions, let’s talk about the meteoric rise of Donna Del Mondo and the flourishing of God’s Eye.
Donna del Mondo (est 2020)
DDM put the boots to former member Natsupoi. (Lto R) Giulia, Thekla, Maika, Himeka
Several months after her solo arrival in STARDOM, Giulia started recruiting members from the independent circuit and freelancers in the hopes of establishing her own faction, The Women of the World, Donna del Mondo. She first plucked Maika from JUST TAP OUT and followed with scouting Syuri, arguably one of the hottest freelance wrestlers of 2020. Maika won the vacant Future of Stardom Championship, defeating both Saya Kamitani and Saya Iida in a three way match. Giulia won the 2020 Five Star Grand Prix and laid claim to the vacant Wonder of STARDOM Championship shortly after. The tournament finals would be the catalyst for Tam Nakano chasing Giulia for the white belt, culminating in their Hair vs. Hair main event match at All-Star Dream Cinderella in March 2021.
The Maika, Syuri and Giulia trio defeated Queen’s Quest for the Artists of STARDOM Championships, and shortly after more mysterious teases of those with the alias of “X” started to surface. In June 2020, Himeka debuted in STARDOM. The ‘Jumbo Princess’ battled her way to the finals of the 2020 Five Star Grand Prix, where she lost to Utami Hashishita. October 2020 would see The High Speed Fairy, Natsupoi’s arrival in STARDOM. At All-Star Cinderella, Natsupoi defeated AZM for the High Speed Championship, with her subsequent reign cementing her name amongst those synonymous with the title.
Natsupoi’s High Speed win marked a run of singles, tag and trios success for ‘MaiHimePoi’. Maika and Himeka took the Goddesses of STARDOM Tag titles, while the three together took the Artists of STARDOM Championships. The trio had seven successful defenses, including two in the same night when they defended the belts in a 10,000,000 Yen Tournament; the finals against STARS (Koguma, Hazuki and Mayu Iwatani) escalating into a spectacular ladder match.
Mai Sakurai leaves Cosmic Angels and joins DDM. (L to R) Maika, Himeka, Sakurai, Giulia.
In 2021, a lingering neck injury would cause Giulia to drop out of the Five Star Grand Prix, during which Syuri battled her way to the crown, defeating Takumi Iroha (of the MARVELOUS promotion) and Momo Watanabe in the same night. However, in her absence, Giulia did keep herself busy, unbeknownst to many of her DDM compatriots. A mysterious masked assailant arrived and began attacking members of Cosmic Angels, eventually with two additional assistants. Giulia would be unmasked by Mayu and Tam near the end of 2021, revealing that she had two new DDM members to join in the new year.
Suzu Suzuki of Prominence confronts Giulia
DDM rang in 2022, welcoming Thekla and MIRAI to their group, while a surprise turn of events would see Mai Sakurai abandon Cosmic Angels to join DDM. However, Giulia’s pre-STARDOM past could come back to haunt her with the arrival of Prominence, a five woman hardcore deathmatch freelance troupe that ha d felt abandoned when Giulia left her old promotional home to seek her own prominence in STARDOM.
The troupe were more than obliging to open old wounds and resume unfinished business, all leading to a summer of emotional battles on her way to 5 Star Grand Prix success; not only was Giulia pursued by her former Prominence allies, but after a defection from Natsupoi to join Tam Nakano in Cosmic Angels, closure was needed. Now the 5 Star winner, Giulia’s place in the year closing main event for the World of STARDOM Championship is secured, and she hopes to be joined by her former close friend and tag team partner.
God’s Eye (2022)
After defeating Utami Hayashishita for the World of Stardom Championship at STARDOM Dream Queendom in 2021, Syuri would take a big step early this year by announcing her decision to part ways with DDM and strike out on her own. Syuri and Giulia officially parted ways after an exceptionally emotional World of Stardom championship defense against Giulia at Stardom World Climax: The Best. With the spring tradition of the Cinderella Tournament approaching, Syuri had a first round bye as champion; to give Syuri opposition, Ami Sohrei requested a challenge, wanting to prove herself in her STARDOM debut and first match back after injury. After their match, Syuri recruited Ami in God’s Eye: “the women the warrior gods chose.”
The ‘core three’ of God’s Eye. L to R, MIRAI, Future of STARDOM Champion Ami Sohrei, World of STARDOM Champion Syuri
Inspired by their match, MIRAI requested to join God’s Eye, wanting to go ‘beyond (her) own limits as a wrestler’. It seemed to be the right choice; MIRAI defeated Mina Shirakawa, Saki Kashima, Natsupoi and Koguma to become the 2022 Cinderella Tournament Winner, and coming just short of Saya Kamitani’s Wonder of STARDOM Championship as a result.
During STARDOM’s Golden Week Fight series, Konami, who went on hiatus in December 2021, caused quite the uproar when she announced she would return for a limited time only to compete alongside Syuri and God’s Eye. This choice ruffled the feathers of OedoTai, Konami’s regular faction when wrestling full time; retribution was swift in the form of an attack by the group at New Blood 4; but it would be JUST TAP OUT’s Tomoka Inaba making the surprise save. After dispatching the attackers, Inaba confessed she had her sights set on God’s Eye and desire to join the unit, much to Syuri’s surprise.
Now the Goddesses of STARDOM Tag League sees MIRAI and Sohrei continuing their tag journey as The New Eras while Syuri and Inaba join forces as Karate Brave.
At Historic X-Over, the former tag team partners turned rival faction leaders will find each other on a collision course. Syuri heads into Ariake with Tom Lawlor as her partner, and just 24 hours removed from her final World of STARDOM defence before Dream Queendom against a deeply personal rival in Utami Hayashishita. On November 20, the main event for Dream Queendom in Ryogoku will finally be official, and both Syuri and Giulia will be hoping that this is a preview of what’s to come in December.
Karen Peterson is a freelance wrestling writer and content creator. Follow her on social media here.